Saturday, November 28, 2009

Does castration increase the growth of animals, and make them tame, too?

Abe V Rotor

It's true. Castration increases growth of animals. It also makes them meek and tame.

In the animal kingdom, body beautiful is generally more developed among the males. We take pride in seeing the fullest expression of masculinity in our domesticated animals like stallions, bulls, boars and roasters. But why is the practice of castration?

It is all part of domestication, the key to agriculture, which started thousands of years ago. Castrated animals are daintier and tamer. They lose much of their restlessness and urge to return to the wild. They become better work animals and pets. And because they grow faster and bigger, castration has become a common farm practice. Meat of castrated animals is tastier and more tender because the male hormone is greatly reduced.

The old methods of castration, such as open surgery and pounding of the testes, have been greatly improved, if not replaced by irradiation and use of sterilizing drugs. Caponization is now seldom done in poultry houses because the fowls are sold out early as broilers or fryers, and the chicks are sexed three days after hatching, segregating the males from the future layers. But some old folks still adhere to a common practice in the rural areas of getting rid of the masculinity of their pets like dogs and cats. It is as simple as tying the scrotum above the testes with rubber band or cotton thread and after some time the testes naturally shrivel or fall off.

Spaying of females is also done principally to prevent reproduction, but it is not as popular as castration. Both techniques have greatly influenced today’s family planning among humans – vasectomy in men and ligation in women. While prevention of reproduction for socio-economic reasons is the main objective, we do not know the long term consequences to the individual, family and society as a whole. Old folks seem to be more aware of the limitations of tinkering with nature by confining the practice to animals. ~

Living with Folk Wisdom, AVR. UST Publishing House, Manila

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